Final Choice for Research Topic:
The origins of the the “hacktivist” group Anonymous on the image board site 4chan, and it’s relation to identity.
“Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities.”
(Related site 1)
“4chan is an English-language imageboard website. Users generally post anonymously, with the most recent posts appearing above the rest. 4chan is split into various boards with their own specific content and guidelines. Registration is not required, nor is it possible (except for staff).”
(Related site 2)
This topic seems like a really good fit to my interests. I appreciate some aspects of the 4chan culture (though I’m not a user) and the range of simply funny things it can produce. I’m also planning to major in computer science, and, perhaps, become cyber security certified. This would delve into territory of ethical hacking. Thus, a combination of these two personal interests, one seemingly fun and the other serious, comprise this topic.
From mindless memes, to a “hacktivist” group, 4chan puts out a lot of things. I want to analyze how the group Anonymous was founded on 4chan, and how something as serious as this group comes from a board of anonymous users, and how the transition from becoming a 4chan “anon” to an Anonymous “anon” came about in hopes to reveal a truth about identity.
I like when we do activities like this. It fills an aspect of discussion that the readings can, but sometimes don’t, reach- the personal aspect. I like hearing about my classmate’s means of identity and relating over it.
I thought the “moo” environments were pretty interesting. My friends and I used to play Dungeons and Dragons back at home from time to time (don’t judge), and the text-based aspect of the moos reminded me of this. They’re easy to relate, but I got the sense that the moos were incorporated much more into their user’s identity than D&D characters. For “A Rape in Cyber Space,” this was highlighted by the people’s reactions to the description of their avatar being violated. This is a prime example of how people’s identity can extend beyond the physical, into the digital, even if the attachment to identity is in the user’s mentality.
As for the “Game of Fear” article, it is a more real-life scenario in how the internet can be used to mistreat or target individuals. In this scenario, there was not as much anonymity, so the threat certainly is a lot more dangerous. The lack of legal response toward her stalker goes to show how legislation on cyber/internet conduct is not changing as rapidly as these interfaces are. People need to be held accountable for their online actions as well as their in-person ones.
For my final topic I have chose to use League of Legends profiles Vs. Facebook profiles. I chose this topic because I think I will find a lot of interesting information inside of it. Being a gamer myself I am kind of excited to see weather or not ill find exactly what I expect or be totally shocked by my discoveries. my first source will be from this ebook.http://site.ebrary.com/lib/mwc/detail.action?docID=10367817. my pikktograph is here https://magic.piktochart.com/output/7948149-fuc-vs-twitter. My final thoughts on gender online is that i think both sides are a little bais but there is defenitely a problem we need to solve.
To end week 4…
I have chosen the research topic of fandoms (especially Harry Potter) and how their online presence affects others. I want to explore how fandoms began and how they have evolved over the years, and finally, how they now interact online. This interests me since I am a Potterhead and I want to research what online identity other Potterheads have. It may be difficult to find sources to research my topic, but I don’t think it will be impossible.
Speaking of possibilities, I wanted to once again drive the point of gender equality both in reality and online. Twee-Q was an eye opening resource because I never thought of the relational aspect of retweeting between males and females. Its interesting to see the difference in who retweets who and what things are getting retweeted.
My FSEM will culminate in a final project that includes a research essay and an internet/tech-based creation (I’ve decided to create a video). My topic, you ask? I will be diving into the (terrifying) world of fandoms, and more specifically how the internet had revolutionized them, allowing them to become interactive and so very prominent in our society, using examples from the two main fandoms I delve into myself: Arrow (the universe of Arrow, including Flash and the upcoming show Legends of Tomorrow) and Disney. One source, which I mentioned in my wrap-up post last week, is Fandom at the Crossroads: Celebration, Shame, and Fan/producer Relationships by Katherine Larsen and Lynn S. Zubernis. However, like all research papers, I will need more sources. I have found some possible sources – a Time article by Michael Elliot entitled “Why is Fandom So Important?” which explores different reasons for why we fans become so involved in the shows we love; a paper by Lisa Macklem entitled “We’re on This Road Together: The Changing Fan/Producer Relationship in Television as Demonstrated by Supernatural” where the relationship between fans and producers, and the effects of said relationship on the production of the show, is explored; and a Huffington News article by Maggie Furlong entitled “Tweeting TV: How Twitter Has Changed The Business Of Television” which explores how fan feedback (specifically on Twitter) helps TV teams keep their shows alive and popular – but if you have any articles or books that you have read that relate to this topic that you think I should use, please feel free to recommend.
In other news, we made an infographic in class yesterday. It was interesting for me in particular because we used information about my social groups to make said inforgraphic. Take a look:
This gave me pause, as I had always assumed I was friends with more guys online because that is usually how life went offline; I’ve just always gotten along with guys better, less so more recently but definitely in the past. Then I remembered that my Facebook friends weren’t simply my friends whom I see daily: they include old schoolmates and family. Family is probably where more women than men came from, looking back. But even now, my main friend group here at college is a 4 to 3 ratio of guys to girls. It’s always interesting to see how online and real life match up.
This week we also focused on gender and the internet (and technology in general). TweeQ was a failure to get my mind turning and thinking, but the articles and videos we watched were not. Women are underrepresented, a fact not an opinion. Technology and the internet are predominantly run by the masculine gender, and women in the field are often met with scorn, roadblocks, and sometimes even threats. When you generally think about the gender gap in the work field, you think about payment, but the truth is that in up and coming fields, technological fields, men not only dominate in compensation, but also in employment rates, and the women who are involved will face sexism, threats, demeaning attitudes (mansplaining, for example), and so on. I have never worked, much less have I worked in a technologically heavy field, but I do know that after everything I read this week, something needs to change.
So that was my week. It was probably an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, maybe a 7.5. Hopefully you all had lovely weeks, too. As always feel free to leave a comment (I’m probably talking to just my teacher at this point because I haven’t tried to advertise/share my blog with many people yet, but hey, if somone is reading this, then thak you!).
Signing off for the week (what’s left of it)
Discussion of Research Topic
My initial research project topic was how online shopping has affected clothing companies. To narrow it down I have decided to focus on the way clothing companies utilize the internet and online shopping to increase their sales. I plan to discuss marketing strategies such as different types of advertisements, companies’ presence on social media websites, and more. I will aim to answer questions such as:
- Has the internet and online shopping made the clothing industry more competitive?
- How much has the internet increased (or even decreased in some cases) various clothing companies’ sales?
- How do businesses strategically target consumers of different ages, genders, etc.
- Which online marketing strategies are the most effective?
Sources so far:
Chahal, Mindi. “Who’s Talking About Your Brand?” Marketing Week. 35.32 (2012): 12. Business Source Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.
Roberts, Jo. “Dressing to Impress.” Markting Week (2013): 43-46. Business Source Complete. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.
Seock, Yoo-Kyoung. “Capturing College Students on the Web: Analysis of Clothing Web Site Attributes.” Journal of Fashion Marketing & Management. 11.4 (2007): 539-52. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.
Discussion of Class Activity
On Thursday, we were told to create an infographic displaying how one constructs their identity in a specific real-life setting and on a social networking site. My group chose to focus on a residence hall for our real-life setting and Twitter for our social networking site. We looked at the ways people interact in these settings as well as the strategic decision-making that helps shape the way they are perceived.
I found this week’s readings and discussions on gender intriguing and eye-opening. Compared to last week’s readings, these were far more interesting and were easier to read. I especially liked the creative way “A Rape in Cyberspace” was written. Overall, these articles put the size and power of the internet into perspective—I didn’t realize how easily someone can find your information and turn your world upside down. I was not aware of how many women are harassed online for doing things as simple as expressing an opinion. I was difficult to read personal stories of women who have suffered with this issue, but I’m glad I learned about these dangers because they have taught me to be more careful in giving out personal information online.